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World-class facilities built with support from Geology alumni's generous donation

The generous donation made by Martin and Jane Houston was used to fund the ground-breaking, world-class Houston Laboratories!

After years of refurbishment and innovative construction, Friday, 24 January marked the official grand opening of the Houston Laboratories. The Laboratories were built as part of a £2m re-development of the Drummond Building, which is home to the school of Natural and Environmental Sciences. The Houston Laboratories is the first phase of the advanced project which will allow for a development on research in sustainability and growing populations at Newcastle University.

A legacy

The donors, Martin and Jane Houston, studied Geology at Newcastle University from 1976 to 1979, and have since both worked as highly successful geologists in the oil and gas industry. The couple wanted to acknowledge the education which they received whilst studying at Newcastle, as well as the happy memories they had gained during their studies.

Martin and Jane both attended the official grand opening of the Houston Laboratories and were delighted by the new facilities which will allow future Newcastle graduates to gain the experience and skills necessary to go out in the field.

“It’s enormously powerful to see teaching facilities of this quality, I can only imagine it must make research and teaching a lot easier with all the new visual aids and great equipment available. It’s fantastic and I’m very very pleased to be associated with it.” - Martin Houston, Newcastle University alumnus and donor.

Remarkable facilities

An exciting feature of the Houston Laboratories is that they are designed to be multi-disciplinary, meaning that a range of students including geologists, biologists, chemists and archaeologists will work together towards issues of our planet’s future as a team. The research being conducted in the Laboratories is part of the University’s long-term efforts into the future of our planet, which is changing due to increasing population and issues of sustainability.

Students, staff and donors alike were very impressed with the Laboratories at the opening and are looking forward to the future of Geology at Newcastle University, thanks to the funding and refurbishments.

“The new lab has received an extremely positive reaction by everyone working and learning here… It’s been incredibly positive, and it couldn’t have got off to a better start.” - Lisa Deveaux-Robinson, Senior Chemical and Biological Services Technician.

If you’d like to find out more about the Houston Laboratories watch this video and check out the @SciencesNCL Twitter page. You can also read more Newcastle University alumni news right here

Houston Lab opening
Jane and Martin Houston

published on: 29 January 2020